Prince Course - hole 6
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Prince Course - hole 6
The Prince golf course plays farther inland compared to the sister Makai Course, but the sixth hole features an ocean backdrop. Courtesy of Princeville Resort
Images
Hawaii Resort Sunset Beach
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Hawaii Resort Sunset Beach
The Princeville Resort will close later in 2008 for renovations, but it will be hard to upgrade the sunset from its secluded beach. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Kauai Lagoons - Jack Nicklaus golf courses
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Kauai Lagoons - Jack Nicklaus golf courses
Though 18 of its 36 holes are closed in 2008 for renovations, Kauai Lagoons features some of Hawaii's most famous coastal holes. Courtesy of KauaiDiscovery.com
Prince golf course - Back nine
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Prince golf course - Back nine
Arguably Hawaii's most challenging course, the Prince Course at Princeville's back nine plays through rugged mountainland. Courtesy of Princeville
Puakea Golf Course - 17
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Puakea Golf Course - 17
Puakea Golf Course in Lihue features a back nine played along the base of Kauai's stunning mountains. The 17th hole's backdrop is one of its finest. Courtesy of Puakea
Princeville Makai Course - 7
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Princeville Makai Course - 7
The seventh hole on the Ocean nine on Princeville's Makai golf course is one of Hawaii's most stunning coastal holes. Courtesy of Princeville Makai
Poipu Bay on Kauai - 16
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Poipu Bay on Kauai - 16
Former PGA Grand Slam of Golf host from 1994-2006, Poipu Bay Golf Course offers some of Kauai's best coastal scenery. Courtesy of Poipu Bay
Kauai Lagoons - Kiele golf course
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Kauai Lagoons - Kiele golf course
The Kauai Lagoons Kiele Course's front nine is home to several great holes as well, like the par-3 fifth hole that plays entirely over a ravine. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Mokihana course at Kauai Lagoons
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Mokihana course at Kauai Lagoons
Also designed by Jack Nicklaus, the Mokihana course at Kauai Lagoons plays farther inland than its sister, Kiele. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Kiahuna Golf Course - hole 10
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Kiahuna Golf Course - hole 10
Fierce trade winds and a firmer playing surface give Kiahuna a links-like feel. Courtesy of Kiahuna

Hawaii's best golf in pictures: A look at Kauai

One of the smaller islands of Hawaii boasts a big reputation as one of its finest for golf: Kauai.

Kauai currently has only nine golf courses, but three of them are often ranked among Hawaii's top 10. Its complimentary set is also worthy of a play. The island is far more rural and less populated than Oahu and Maui. It's also much smaller than the Big Island, meaning it's possible to reach all of Kauai's golf courses from one resort in a given day. No course is more than a two hour drive from another, even though the island has no freeways.

The island doesn't have a single stand-out course. The Prince Course at the Princeville Resort is considered the best by many magazines, thanks to its invigorating Robert Trent Jones Jr. design set through rugged mountainland. Poipu Bay Golf Course hosted the PGA Grand Slam of Golf from 1994-2006, making it Kauai's most televised layout. Kauai Lagoons' Kiele Course, though currently closed for renovations until the spring of 2009, has a collection of the island's top coastal holes.

There are also a handful of solid seconds, from Puakea Golf Course in Lihue to Princeville's Makai Course.

Here's a look at some of the incredibly photogenic Kauai golf courses.

Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Advisor. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at BrandonTuckerGC.
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Tiger Woods never declined his invitation to former PGA Grand Slam of Golf host Poipu Bay Golf Course on Kauai. Play Poipu Bay on your Hawaii golf vacation and it's easy see why: It's practically the perfect resort course.
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For having only nine golf courses, Kauai greatly overachieves in quality; its top courses can hold their own with any on the Hawaiian Islands. A bonus: it's so small you can see each of Kauai's courses on one trip, Brandon Tucker writes. And that's a good thing, because no single course is a supreme favorite here. Each member of your group may come home with his or her own darling.
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